Hudbay moves ahead with appeal on Rosemont ruling

Flin Flon’s largest employer is moving ahead with an appeal after a vital permit for a multi-billion dollar mining project in Arizona was pulled last summer.

Hudbay announced that the company had filed an initial brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit June 22. The brief was filed in relation to a decision from the court in July 2019 which revoked a final record of decision for Hudbay’s Rosemont mine project issued by the U.S. Forest Service. The record of decision gave Hudbay permission to use federally protected land while constructing the mine, including allowing Hudbay to dispose of mine waste on public lands next to the mine site. When the record of decision was pulled, construction plans at the site were shut down pending a Hudbay appeal.

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“The final decision of record was issued in June 2017 after a thorough process involving 17 co-operating agencies at various levels of government,” read a press release issued by Hudbay.

“The filing of the Hudbay brief follows the U.S. federal government’s initial brief which was filed last week. The briefs explain how both Hudbay and the government believe that the District Court misinterpreted federal mining laws and Forest Service regulations as they apply to Rosemont.”

Rosemont, valued by Hudbay at around $1.9 billion, could stand to become one of the southwest United States’ most valuable open-pit mine projects if built. The mine would mainly focus on copper and molybdenum extraction. Hudbay had planned to begin building a mine at Rosemont in late 2019.

In an interview last month with Canadian Mining Journal, Hudbay president and CEO Peter Kukielski said he was confident Hudbay would win an appeal against the decision.

“We remain highly confident that we will prevail and that Rosemont ultimately will come back on track. In the meanwhile, we’ve got to go through the litigation through our appeal.”

The initial final decision of record was revoked Oct. 28 after U.S. District Judge James Soto, said there was no basis to reopen the case.

“Mere disagreement with a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration,” Soto was quoted as saying in a Reuters article about the decision last October.

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